Friday, August 5, 2016

Video Trailer: La Cage Aux Folles Opens Today at Fort Tilden's Rockaway Theatre Company

Photo by Rob Mintzes
There are many lessons very pertinent to current events in La Cage.... about tolerance, about family - unusual family - at least considering the original French film is from the late 70s. A gay couple raise a child who wants to marry the daughter of the leading anti-gay politician and asks his father to hide the gay relationship with the "mother" who raised him. The sets are ... well, since I help Tony Homsey and crew build them, all I can say is we are mighty proud of them.

The acting, singing and especially the dancing by the 8 Cagelles is astounding. And the makeup guy is a hero to everyone back stage as he turns men into women and women into men acting as men acting as women. Got it? To really get it come on down over the next 3 weekends.
Rockaway Theatre Company presents LA CAGE AUX FOLLES:
August 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, 19 and 20 at 8pm
Matinees: August 7, 14 and 21 at 2pm
at the Rockaway Theatre Company in Fort Tilden, NY.
Call or go online to reserve tickets-
Directed by John Gilleece
Musical Direction by Rich Louis-Pierre
Choreographed by Nicola DiPierro-Nellen

LA CAGE AUX FOLLES at the RTC from Gabrielle Mangano on Vimeo.

Filmed by Jason Friedman
Edited by Gabrielle Mangano

My column this week:

Aug. 5, 2016

Memo from the RTC:  La Cage Aux Folles Opens Aug. 5 for Ten Performances
By Norm Scott
The Rockaway Theatre Company’s production of La Cage Aux Folles (The Birdcage) hits the stage at Fort Tilden’s Post Theatre on Friday Aug. 5. As a member of the ensemble I’ve been able to see this show with a very large cast throughout its development over the past few months and seeing it all come together. As usual, the RTC has attracted major talent for a complex show that requires extraordinary dancers, powerful singing voices and acting talent supreme. Fortunately I possess none of these attributes, leaving me free to observe the talent go to town.
Most people seem to have seen the stage show or the movie, either in French (1978) or the American version (1996) starring Robin Williams and Nathan Lane and directed by Mike Nichols.
The basic story: a gay cabaret owner and his companion, the leading drag queen in St. Tropez, have raised a son born of a brief affair the owner had with a woman who had no interest in raising a child. So the gay couple brought up the child who is now grown up and announces he had met the girl of his dreams and will be getting married. The fly in the ointment is that her father is a conservative leader of a major anti-gay movement. The son asks them to put on a ruse when they meet her parents. He wants his real mother to be there while hiding his father’s companion who actually helped raise him and took the place of biological mother. The fun and frolics follow, anchored by the troop of drag queen dancers known as “La Cagelles.” Many productions include a few woman playing the role of men playing women. The RTC production has 8 dancers and I won’t spoil your pleasure in figuring this all out when you attend this must see production.
One of the behind the scenes jobs the entire cast takes part in is the movement of some very large set pieces on and off and on and off and on and off the stage in a remarkable bit of stage crafting designed by Frank Caiati (who also plays the son) and built by Tony Homsey and his crew, of which I am proud to be a member of. When it comes to large scale musicals at the RTC Director John Gilleece and Producer Susan Jasper always deliver a spectacular show so don’t miss this one.  Friday and Saturday night performances, Aug. 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20 and one Thursday night, Aug. 11, all at 8 PM. Sunday matinees Aug. 7, 14, 21 at 2 PM., 718-374-6400.

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